One of the advantages of belonging to a writers’ group is that every member has different strengths and areas of expertise. As a result, we are continually learning from one another. For example, I learned about Deep POV (Point of View) from one of my colleagues.
I was already familiar with First Person, Third Person, and Omniscient, but the term “Deep POV” was unfamiliar to me. Now that I know about it, I strive to achieve it, but it’s not an easy technique to master.
Another term for “Deep POV” is limited Third Person. It’s a technique that infuses Third Person POV with the intimacy of First Person
Unlike “ordinary” Third Person, limited Third Person does away with dialogue tags and verbs such as see, notice, understand, feel, realize and think, which suggest “telling” as opposed to “showing.” Compare the following passages. Both are written in Third Person.
Judy ran down the alley. She thought she could hear footsteps behind her. She realized now that she should have stayed on the main street. Her tight skirt and high heels were slowing her down.
Judy picked up her pace. Footsteps sounded in her ears. Imagination? Maybe, but what if that spooky-looking man at the corner had followed her into the alley? Damn this tight skirt. She could hardly move her knees, let alone run. And these heels! What had possessed her to buy anything this high? Momma warned her about vanity.
Writing in limited Third Person usually involves the expenditure of more words, but, if done effectively, the extra words add to the reader’s enjoyment by pulling him more deeply into the events narrated.
Deep POV is to the writer what method acting is to the actor. It requires the writer to submerge herself in the character from whose point of view a scene is being seen. It requires a casting off of all inhibitions. The writer becomes the character.
A useful exercise for the writer who prefers to write in Third Person is to write a scene in First Person, and then change all the nouns and pronouns to Third Person.
For more on Deep POV, check out these links:
Karen Kelley (Update: no longer active)
Women on Writing
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